By Molly Katz ’19
Numerous clubs are introduced each year, proposed by students passionate about the goals of their respective clubs. The beginning of this school year brought with it the introduction of multiple new clubs, ranging from political action groups to a new language club.
These additions highlight the involvement of students at Heschel. Students are consistently coming up with new extracurriculars to bring to the school, and year after year these clubs succeed in gaining members and become permanently popular at the school.
The newest clubs of 2017 have begun to meet in the past few weeks, officially entering the Heschel club scene. Students now have the opportunity to join the Creative Writing Workshop Club, the goal of which is to serve as a comfortable place to share creative pieces and peer edit work. Two juniors also introduced a club entitled Finding Your Roots, where students can explore their family history and better understand their heritage. Additionally, the Outing Club gives students the chance to explore nature and interact with the outside world according to their personal interests, providing a respite from the long hours indoors at school.
Some students have even started clubs that are Heschel branches of known organizations. One such organization is Girls Who Code, a nonprofit that works towards increasing the number of women in the field of computer science by running programs teaching high school girls how to code and supporting women in this typically male-dominated field. At Heschel, female students will learn coding skills and hear from speakers in the computer science profession.
Another such club is HSDA, which stands for High School Democrats of America. This is a political organization for burgeoning teen activists who support the Democratic party. Its manifestation at Heschel will give students the opportunity to discuss political issues and mobilize students toward political action such as campaigning for Democratic candidates. The Equity and Action Committee club, on the other hand, also places an emphasis on activism, but is a nonpartisan group and unaffiliated with an organization. The club’s goal is to fight systemic injustice with direct action. These actions include going to protests and planning programming within the school in response to pressing issues.
The Latin Club, started by Noa Bregman, completes the set of language clubs paralleling the languages offered at the school; the French and Spanish clubs already well-established. The Latin club provides the opportunity to learn about Latin culture and to create interaction between different grades studying the language.
Language clubs may seem redundant when there is a Latin course already offered by the school. According to Noa, however, there are multiple unique opportunities that a language club can provide that classes cannot. Such a club serves the important purpose of learning about Latin culture “in a fun way,” because this cannot always fit into the curriculum of a language course. She said, “I was compelled to start the club because I felt that there were certain cultural aspects of the language that we didn’t have enough time to cover in class.” Further, she argues that students may actually be more comfortable experimenting with the language in the club in contrast to “the pressure of having to be right that is often felt in classroom settings.” Thanks to all these new and compelling choices, surely every student can find something he or she is passionate about.